On this date in Pirates history in 1948 the greatest 3rd baseman in team history was elected to the Hall of Fame. Pie Traynor received 93 votes, 2 more than what was needed for election, just 1 year after losing out by 2 votes. Also elected was Herb Pennock, who had passed away just a month prior to election. All-time great players, Al Simmons, Bill Terry and Charlie Gehringer all narrowly missed out on getting elected, but all 3 would eventually make it with Terry taking the longest, finally making it in 1954.
Harold "Pie" Traynor started his career with the Bucs in 1920 at the age of 20, but didn't become the everyday 3rd baseman till 1922. From 1922-1931, he had 10 straight seasons of at least 80 runs scored and 80 rbi's, and had season batting averages of .317, .320, .337, .338, .342, .356 and .366 in that time period. Pie played his entire 17 year career with the Bucs and he finished with a .320 career average over 1941 games. He had over 2400 hits, 1273 RBI's, 1183 runs scored and 164 triples and is ranked top 10 in team history in all of those categories.
Pie played with 2 World Series teams (1925, 1927 ) and he was a key member of both of those teams. In 1925 he hit .320 with 106 RBI's and 114 runs scored. In the series which the Bucs won over the Senators, Pie hit .346 with 4 RBI's. In 1927 he hit .342 with 106 RBI's during the season, but in the 4 game series he hit just .200 with 0 RBI's as the Yankees swept the Bucs.
Traynor was named to the all-star team in each of his last 2 full seasons, his only appearance in the all-star game because it didn't start till the 1933 season. A good fielding 3rd baseman he was always among league leaders in fielding, and 7 times led the NL in putouts. In a 1969 poll among sportswriters, Pie was named the greatest 3rd baseman to ever play in the majors. He also managed the Bucs for 5+ seasons going 457-406 and finishing as high as 2nd in 1938.
Pie became the 7th man that wore a Pirates uniform to be elected to the Hall of Fame, following Honus Wagner (1936), Connie Mack (1937), Fred Clarke (1945), the duo of Rube Waddell and Jack Chesbro (1946) and Frankie Frisch (1947).
For once, I couldn't find a former Bucs player born on this date, but today is the 35th birthday of current Pirate Matt Stairs. He originally signed with the Expos as a non-drafted free agent in 1989 and he made his ML debut May 29, 1992, but played just 13 games in the majors before being traded to the Red Sox prior to the 1994 season. After playing all of 1994 in double-A, Matt started the 1995 season with Pawtucket (AAA) before joining the Sox for 39 games.
Matt signed with the A's in 1996 and split his first season there between AAA and the majors. In 1997, Matt finally made his breakthrough when he would hit .298 with 27 HR's and 73 RBI's in 352 at-bats. The next year he improved on those numbers by driving in 106 runs and hitting .294 and scoring 88 runs. Matt hit a career high 38 HR's in 1999 while scoring 94 runs. He struggled in 2000 hitting just .227, but still managed to drive in 81 runs. Matt played for the Cubs in 2001 hitting .250 with 17 HR and 61 RBI's in 340 at-bats. Last year he played for the Brewers, hitting .244 with 16 HR's in 270 at-bats. Career he is a .263 hitter over 925 games, with 156 HR's and 511 RBI's.